Social Justice Series

Libraries Working Towards Social Justice

Over the course of the coming year, the Burlington Public Library will explore current social justice issues, including systemic racism, voter suppression and the criminal justice system.


The Library is partnering with Burlington High School to make these programs available to both the students of Burlington and the Burlington community.   We are also collaborating with and sharing resources with seven other Merrimack Valley Libraries to make larger, quarterly programs possible.   Our collaborative series, "Libraries Working Towards Social Justice," is offered in partnership with Haverhill Public Library, Lawrence Public Library, Memorial Hall Library, Nevins Memorial Library, Stevens Memorial Library, Tewksbury Public Library and Wilmington Memorial Library.

Mass Incarceration: A Time For Reform

with Alexi Jones

Date:  Thursday, January 14, 2021

Time:  7pm

Location: Online via Zoom  Advance Registration is required using this link .  

This event will also be Live Streamed on Facebook where registration is not required.

Jail Cell

Mass incarceration is one of the most pressing social justice issues in the United States. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and our prisons and jails are disproportionately filled with Black people, people living in poverty, and people with mental health and substance use disorders. 

Alexi Jones, a policy analyst at the Prison Policy Initiative, will break down some of the most pressing issues in criminal justice reform, including the shockingly high number of people who are locked up in the United States, the stark racial disparities throughout our criminal justice system, and areas that are ripe for reform.

This program is part of a series, Libraries Working Towards Social Justice, offered in collaboration with eight Merrimack Valley libraries.

Past Events

Exploring Systemic Racism – A panel discussion

Picture of panelists

If you missed this live discussion, you can watch the recording HERE

Mr. Devon Crawford, Dr. Brandon Crowley, and Rev. Alicia Johnson will hold a panel discussion on systemic racism.  Systemic racism is embedded as normal practice in nearly every aspect of American life.  It refers to the systems in place that maintain racial inequities by creating disparities in the criminal justice system, employment, housing, health care, politics, and education.  Systemic racism is particularly insidious because we may not even recognize that it exists.  

Mr. Devon Jerome Crawford is the Director of the William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  Dr. Brandon Crowley serves as the Senior Pastor of The Historic Myrtle Baptist Church of West Newton, MA and as an adjunct instructor for Harvard Divinity School.  The Reverend Alicia Marie Johnson serves as the Assistant Pastor of the Historic Myrtle Baptist Church and as the Assistant Director of the MIT/Wellesley Upward Bound Program.  

Voter Suppression with Dave Daley 

Dave Daleycropped

If you missed this live discussion, you can watch the recording HERE

Voter suppression did not end with Jim Crow.  New barriers to the ballot box have been erected and these new barriers disproportionately affect racial minorities.  Dave Daley, of FairVote and author of "Unrigged", will speak about the tactics used to limit the ability of voters to exercise their right to vote.